How to Track Software License

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Tracking software licenses can be a difficult task if there is no proper system in place. An effective solution for software license management will help you minimize the software expenses and give complete visibility to your organization's software stack.

Employees often pay and sign up for existing apps for your company. It is due to the lack of a centralized system for tracking software licenses. 

Tracking of software licenses provides a complete picture of your company’s software stack. It will help you make better decisions that maximize your ROI. It will also help you identify the duplicate apps, unused licenses, downgrade licenses to suitable tiers, etc.

To keep expenses in check and eliminate unnecessary software spending, IT admin must monitor the license usage and track software licenses. It ensures that the software is utilized properly and reduces the scope of duplicate licenses. 

Further, it ensures that software licenses are aligned with the compliance requirements and helps in keeping audits ready.

The lack of appropriate software license management can cost your company time, money, and valuable resources. In order to optimize your valuable time and money, a centralized solution is a must that will track the various software licenses in the organization.

In this post, we have discussed the five ways to track software licenses in your organization. 

5 Ways to Track Software License

5 Ways to Track Software License

1. Use Spreadsheets

The spreadsheet is a manual way to manage the SaaS apps and their renewals. But maintaining spreadsheets is time-consuming and ineffective. 

For smaller organizations with a limited number of SaaS apps to maintain, it is fine to go ahead with spreadsheets for tracking licenses. But when a large number of apps are involved in the organization, it becomes difficult and pretty time-consuming to manage the software licenses.

Considering the easy accessibility of SaaS apps and users signing in for new apps almost regularly, constant tracking of software licenses becomes mandatory. Therefore, the spreadsheet needs to be updated regularly. 

If the spreadsheets are updated monthly or quarterly, then you need to wait patiently for the complete period for the update, and still, the data might not be accurate. It leads to an increase in duplicate licenses and an unnecessary increase in software expenses. 

2. Survey Employees

Adding to Spreadsheet, the survey is also a manual process that is conducted within the teams or departments to track the software licenses. It is quite a time-consuming process and not feasible for larger organizations.

For large organizations, the number of software licenses purchased is more as the number of employees is more. So, the survey lacks appropriate results. It depends entirely on the information the employees provide, and they might take their own time to respond to the survey.

Often, the surveys are conducted monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly. You have to wait for the entire period to get the complete information regarding software licenses. Hence, surveys need to be conducted regularly in order to timely track the software licenses. 

Sometimes, manually authenticating the results is not possible. Also, the employees miss out on mentioning the software licenses. As a result, the survey reports are inaccurate and cannot keep track of the full software stack of the company.

3. Use IT Asset Management Software

IT asset management is a set of business practices that involves managing all your organization’s IT assets and is a subset of IT service management. It is majorly focused on hardware assets like servers, computers, printers, etc.

The traditional ITAM tools available are all focused on hardware. Due to the increase in SaaS adoption, you might end up spending more by subscribing to various SaaS apps. 

But ITAM tools lack focus on SaaS apps; hence, it is not appropriate for tracking software licenses.

4. Use a Software Asset Management Tool

Software asset management (SAM) is a business practice that manages the software applications within the organization but majorly focuses on on-premise software. It manages the traditional licenses that are installed on your computer.

Through SAM tools, you will be able to manage the on-premise software licenses and their renewals in the organization. Note that the focus of most SAM tools is on traditional licenses and not SaaS apps. In that case, the SaaS licenses are not tracked and therefore, IT teams lack visibility to the complete software stack of the organization.

5. Use a SaaS Management Platform (SMP)

Zluri (1)

A SaaS management platform is an appropriate solution for tracking SaaS licenses. It will identify all the software licenses in the organization and help you optimize the software spend.

Lack of visibility of the software license leads to the growth of shadow IT and SaaS waste. This causes issues like unused/underused licenses, unsuitable licenses with high-priced tiers, etc.

License Discovery and System of Record: Zluri, a SaaS management platform, helps the organization track and monitor the software license with adequate sources of SaaS discovery and eliminate shadow IT

The visibility that Zluri provides to the IT teams facilitates the empowerment of their business units, can measure value, determine thresholds for centralized governance, and benchmark costs.

Zluri uses five discovery methods to find 100% of SaaS app licenses in your organization: SSO, finance, and expense management systems, direct integration through APIs, desktop agent (optional), and browser agent (optional).

5 discovery methods

The powerful discovery engine gives you a view of the complete SaaS stack of the organization. 

License Management: With Zluri, IT teams can easily track apps, users, license types, number of licenses for each type, user role, and spend in one single platform.

licenses module

Licenses

contracts module

Contracts

subscriptions

Subscriptions

Additionally, you can track and get insights on vendors and contracts for each license.

vendor

Vendors

Not only for your employees, you can also keep track of licenses assigned to users external to the company, like vendors, freelancers, consultants, etc.

external users

License Renewal: Zluri alerts you about your upcoming payment and contract renewals, giving you enough time to decide whether or not you need the app.

renewals module

Monthly Renewal Calendar

For contracts, you get alerts 30 days, 15 days, and 1 day in advance. For payment, you get 7 days and 1-day alerts. And you can set custom alerts as well. This helps you prioritize high-value contracts.

Automate License Requisition, Approval, Revocation: With Zluri, you can automate the whole process of license requisition, approval, and revoking. 

This can be done during the onboarding and offboarding process.

To give access to all the app licenses at once, you can create onboarding workflows. Zluri recommends apps that the joiner will need when creating a new workflow based on their department and seniority.

app suggestions for onboarding

App Suggestions for Onboarding

Note that the suggestions are not just limited to the application level; Zluri recommends in-app actions as well, like adding them to channels, groups, projects, etc.

app suggestion airtable

Example: In-App Suggestions for Airtable

Furthermore, you can save these workflows as playbooks to reuse them when new people join for the same role. 

workflows onboarding-2

Similarly, offboarding workflow ensures that all licenses are terminated when access is revoked. 

You can use our ROI calculator to see how many hours you are currently wasting on these tasks if you are doing them manually.

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Additionally, Zluri comes with an app store for employees that acts as a self-serve system when the employees need a new app or license in between their work terms (for events like temporary projects or in case of promotion or internal change of role). 

Employees' app store makes the entire process of SaaS app license requisition, approval, and revocation automated.

Moreover, the employee app store (EAS) is connected with our SaaS buying service. When you need to buy or renew licenses, our SaaS procurement experts get you better pricing and terms that you can negotiate on your own.

Moengage ceo

On one side, it saves countless hours for IT and procurement teams on repetitive tasks of license management. On the other hand, it proves a good experience for employees who need not wait for days or weeks to get the tools they need to do their job.

why zluri saas buying

Now IT teams can relax and track all the software licenses in the company. It will help them eliminate shadow IT, optimize SaaS spend, and optimize the SaaS licenses per the usage. Zluri provides deeper insights on SaaS app licenses and relevant information required for making renewing/terminating decisions.

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A Framework to Eliminate SaaS Wastage

‘Muda’ is used to describe any activity that uses resources but doesn't generate value. It is the Toyota system for identifying and eliminating waste in all forms. It is the same thing that helps Toyota sell more cars than Ford, General Motors, and Honda at a higher margin.

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An obese SaaS stack leads to SaaS wastage. It's a disease! It not only causes financial issues but also gives you security and compliance problems. That's why you must keep tight control on your SaaS stack. And it begins with managing your SaaS vendors. 

Symptoms of an Unoptimized SaaS Stack (+ Solutions)

In this post, we've discussed 7 symptoms of an unoptimized SaaS stack and solutions to optimize the same.

SaaS Sprawl - The Ultimate Guide

When an organization has a large number of SaaS applications in its SaaS stack, it gives rise to SaaS Sprawl.

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